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Diploma Description

 

This proposal presents the case for establishing a Professional Diploma in Strategy and International Communication at the IALIIS. This professional diploma is considered a further development of work that began in spring 2013 when Birzeit University, the British Council and the British Support Team in Palestine worked in partnership to design, develop and deliver a short course in Strategic Communications for in-career professionals drawn from all sections of Palestinian society. That work was carried out with the active support of the Palestine Government Media Center (GMC) and one of Palestine’s major investment corporations.

The Professional Strategy and International Communication Diploma program aims to prepare graduates for leadership roles in international strategic communication as advocates for their organizations’ strategic goals and objectives and for local and national positions. It also aims to provide the Palestinian government, civil society and private sector with a center of professional excellence for high-level teaching with a practical focus in an environment of interchange with international practitioners. This is to produce a pool of senior Palestinians equipped with communication skills to international standards and with a professional qualification that provides a high benchmark for Palestinian strategic communications. More specifically, the program aims at building capacities of professionals working in the field in the following:

  1. Enhancing professional and advanced communication skills.
  2. Enhancing strategic thinking, management, and strategic communication.
  3. Building the capacity to be able to defend institutional and national cases with emphasis on the Palestinian case.

This specialized program is a step forward for international relations in Palestine and the region, moving beyond the donor led ad-hoc trainings to a fully institutionalized training program, developed and managed by the IALIIS in cooperation with national and international expertise. By developing such Professional Diploma, a strong and self-sustaining capacity in Strategic Communications will be built in Palestinian society.

It should be mentioned that the following proposal has been developed after lengthy consultations with the partners and stakeholders, and after piloting the project through individual courses delivered in the field. Where the proposal is in alignment with the IALIIS strategy and with the proposal that has been submitted to the Ministry of Higher Education.

 

Learning Objectives

The overall objective of this diploma is to prepare graduates for leadership roles in international strategic communication as advocates for their organizations and their national strategic goals and objectives. More specifically, the project aims at the following:

  1. Offer an educational program that will provide the trainees with strategic communication skills that will help formulate messages that help advocate the national goals and the organizational goals.
  2. Improve the trainees’ level of professionalism in strategic management and strategic thinking for professional working in the field.
  3. Support international and strategic communication of the public, private, and diplomatic organizations.

The main concepts that will be raised throughout the diploma include the following:

  • Formulating effective messages.
  • Setting communication strategies.
  • Data gathering and analysis to help formulate effective messages and hold advocacy campaigns.
  • Setting strategic communication plans.
  • Using social media to effectively communicate strategically.
  • Using ICT to effectively communicate strategically.
  • Basic and advanced communication skills.
  • Negotiation skills and conflict resolution.
  • Ethics in strategic communication.
  • Strategic communication during conflicts and during change.
  • Diplomacy and public diplomacy.
  • Protocols of communication.

To achieve this, the diploma will enable students to:

  • Share in and explore a broad range of regional and international expertise in Strategic Communication.
  • Acquire and practice the skills necessary to become effective practitioners in Strategic Communication.
  • Apply the principles and practices of effective Strategic Communication to at least one sector of Palestinian life, e.g. public diplomacy, business, NGO activity, public administration etc.
  • Demonstrate the ability to construct and manage an effective communication strategy that delivers measurable outcomes in target audiences and responds to critical developments.

 

Learning Strategies

This professional diploma will be a qualification that is academically and professionally respected. Participants will be in-career professionals whose employers endorse the need to enhance their employees’ strategic communications skills. The majority of the course will be taught via lectures, seminars and workshops presented by national and international experts and facilitated by a course leader and a group of tutors.

There will be a substantial amount of directed reading, and students will be expected to read, watch and listen widely to national and international media to support their learning. There will be a dissertation element in the assessment of the diploma – a piece of original work prepared in the first half of the second semester under the light-touch supervision of a tutor. Dissertations may take of the form either of a conventional academic work or a project appropriate and applicable to their place of employment. It is recommended that students whose dissertation is related to another academic discipline will have access to appropriate classes and lectures in that discipline.